BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 2, Day 3: Joshua 7

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Summary of Joshua 7:

The Israelite Achan disobeyed the Lord by taking some of the devoted things for himself instead of destroying them as ordered by the Joshua (Joshua 6:18), inciting the Lord’s anger.

Map of Ai
Map of Ai

Like with Jericho, Joshua ordered  spies to go to Ai to check out the region. The spies reported back that not all the men would be needed to defeat Ai, so only 3000 were sent. The Israelites were routed by the men of Ai, killing 36 Israelites. The Israelites were chased and the rest were destroyed.

Joshua, distraught over the loss, falls prostrate before the Ark of the Covenant and beseeches the Lord, lamenting the fact the Israelites had come so far only to be defeated. Joshua questions God as to why and points out how this damages the Lord’s name with their enemies.

The Lord informes Joshua of Achan’s sin and orders him to destroy the devoted things Achan has taken or He will forsake them.  The Lord tells Joshua to have the people consecrate themselves, and in the morning, he will destroy by fire whoever has the devoted things.

The Lord leads Joshua to Achan who confesses he took the devoted things. Joshua takes Achan to the Valley of Achor, stones him and his sons and daughters, and then burns them. The Lord then turned from His anger.

BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 2, Day 3: Joshua 7

6) Joshua “tore his clothes and fell facedown to the ground before the ark of the Lord, remaining there until evening.” Joshua questioned the Lord’s motives, wondering and praying to the Lord why did He deliver the Israelites only for them to be destroyed. He points out that now that the Canaanites have defeated Israel, the news will spread and the Lord’s name will be wiped out from the earth.

This prayer reveals that Joshua knows God well because he knows how much God wants unbelievers to fear His name. These battles are for God’s glory, not the Israelites. Joshua is close enough to God to be able to lay out his greatest fears before the Lord and question the Lord without fear of repercussions. Joshua and God are close.

7) God revealed to Joshua that someone had violated His covenant and stolen devoted things.  Israel had sinned and lied, and that’s the reason the Israelites lost to the Canaanites. God warns Joshua that He will no longer be with Israel unless the devoted things are destroyed. The Lord ordered Joshua to have the people prepare themselves, and He would reveal the thief and destroy him by fire along with all that belongs to him.

Achan admits he has sinned against the Lord and admits what he stole from the plunder. He reveals the hiding place of this treasure.

Joshua retrieves the stolen devoted things and spreads them out before the Lord. Joshua takes Achan and all that belongs to him (sons, daughters, cattle, donkeys, sheep, his tent, and all his material possessions) along with the stolen devoted things (silver, robe, and gold wedge). All of Israel stones the family and animals and burns them and everything else.

8 ) Personal Question. My answer: I have lost friends, jobs, esteem, respect, confidence, money, and time. I have lost self-confidence, replaced by a feeling of shame and guilt.

Conclusions BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 2, Day 3: Joshua 7:

This lesson reminded me of how we all pay for one person’s mistake, which has been since Adam and Eve bit the apple. I thought of all the laws created because of one person’s actions, all the rules we have to follow because of one person, and all the nonsensical things we have to do because of one person. And it reminded me of how this world has changed because everyone is afraid they’re going to get sued if anything goes wrong.

End Notes for BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 2, Day 3: Joshua 7:

The Israelites get cocky after Jericho. The conquered a city without firing an arrow. Now, Ai, the next target, is small and puny. The Israelites send a small army–and are thoroughly routed.

The conquering of Canaan by the Israelites was not for personal gain; it was to enact judgment on peoples who were unbelievers. By taking the devoted objects for personal gain, the Israelites were disobeying God and His plans.

Thirty-six men were more of a symbolic defeat. No men were lost at Jericho. With these men killed, it meant Israel could be defeated.

The tearing of clothes and dust upon the head is a sign of mourning: both for the 36 men and for God having forsaken them.

God wants us to be victorious; however, humans can still be defeated if we disobey God or choose evil over good. We always have a choice.

Sin can spread (1 Corinthians 5:6). It must be dealt with immediately and publicly to send a message. Especially when the sin is stealing from God himself!

Leviticus 22:1427:1527:19, and 27:31 each demonstrate that in Israel, if you wanted to keep something that belonged to God, you had to pay a 20% (one-fifth) penalty. This was the same amount required for restitution in theft (Leviticus 6:4-5).

The New Testament says giving should be regular and proportional (1 Corinthians 16:1-2), that it should be generous, purposeful, and cheerful (2 Corinthians 9:6-8). When we don’t give as God directs us, we must regard it as sin and repent of it.

What happened to ancient Israel cannot happen to us. Israel was under a covenant with God that said blessings for obedience and curses for disobedience. Jesus frees us from such a burden. However, if we want God to show up in our lives, we must obey Him, turn from sin, and walk in fellowship with God (1 John 1:6).

God showed mercy upon the Israelites by revealing their sin to them. They cannot act on their own power and self-reliance. God is in charge and is the power.

Was Achan’s Children Stoned?

Unlikely. They were guilty in that they probably knew Achan had stolen the goods since he buried the devoted things under his tent. However, the singular is used when referencing the person being stolen. When the plural is used, it’s probably referencing Achan’s possessions.

Once the sin was dealt with and the people’s hearts were conquered again by God, He went with the Israelites.

Theme of Joshua 7:

  • Obey God=victory
  • Disobey God=defeat

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4 thoughts on “BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 2, Day 3: Joshua 7

  1. AtoZMom’s Blog,

    Thank you for all the extra work you are putting into the blog this year. The posts are beautiful and are so helpful to me when I get stuck. I like to check in with your answers before I go to class just to see how close we are. Wonderful the you are posting all of this information. Blessings,

    Sue >

    Like

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